Monthly Musings: Battery Power Face Off

Landscape professionals from around the country give their opinions on battery-powered equipment.

Adobe Stock 284374276 (1) - ra2 studio

Battery-powered equipment has come to the forefront within the landscape industry, though it's not a universal technology. 

In a Green Industry Pros Monthly Musings survey, 80% of respondents said they've tried the technology. Of those respondents, about 56% said they'd continue to do so in the future.

Landscapers who reported that they had already implemented the technology cited the following reasons for doing so:

  • Fuel savings
  • Less maintenance
  • Interested in new technology
  • Marketing purposes
  • To better understand the technology when talking to customers
  • Easier to use
  • Environmentally friendly

Several respondents said they have transitioned to battery power due to their customers' preferences.

For example, one landscape pro said, "Some of our commercial customers are requesting we use electric. They are logging data on carbon, fossil fuel, etc. We are also certifying our employees through (the) American Green Zone Alliance (AGZA). We started out with all handheld equipment. We also have electric mowers (large) as well as robotics."

While the equipment is often used around schools and hospitals, another respondent said, "We maintain around a lot of restaurants, and we have started using battery-powered handhelds so it’s not as disturbing." 

However, not every person who has tried out the technology is completely sold on it. The reasons they listed include:

  • Battery life and replacement battery price
  • Troubleshooting large battery-powered zero-turns is a new learning curve, can be challenging and, for the many circuit boards, water is the enemy
  • Keeping enough batteries and how to charge them all  
  • Not enough power or longevity for my clients

Those landscape pros who are not interested in investing in battery-powered equipment at this time listed similar reasons.

For instance, one landscape pro said, "I sometimes work a 10- or 12-hour day, (and) I don’t have access to electric to recharge my equipment, so if I buy battery power, I have to buy so many batteries, and it’s just not cost-effective to do that."

Another said, "I have good, reliable, gas-powered equipment I’ve used for years with no problem. Plus, the gas equipment is much less expensive than the battery." 

What about you? Have you thought about making the switch? I'd be interested in hearing about your experience and whether or not you think battery power is the way to go. Email me at [email protected] or connect with me on LinkedIn.